The road-trip genre is one most are familiar with; a less visited aspect of travelling is that of signs, but Robert Indiana did his best to reverse this negligence, proclaiming himself to be “an American painter of signs.” Alive with primary colours, geometry and graphic detail, the painter’s work redressed the standard perception of these directional objects, turning them into symbolic messages. Although Indiana’s versions hold a clear command, as their predecessors do, his statements of “EAT”, “HOPE” and “LOVE” are more emotive than any street sign.
The Essential Robert Indiana collates the artist’s significant body of work and places it alongside text by Martin Krause, based on ongoing conversations with Indiana. Stumbling upon autobiographical elements within his work, Krause’s investigations uncover a personal attachment to the informative oblongs due to associations with the artist’s father.
Featuring more than 50 prints from the 1960s until 2010, and an essay by Pop Art scholar John Wilmerding, this retrospective offers a intimate account of Indiana’s unique visual language.